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News & announcements 762 views Jun 26, 2015
Guest Blog: The Summer Smiles Match Fund Campaign

An Open Letter to Participating Groups

So, you’ve had an email from the team at Localgiving to say you’ve been selected to take part in a match fund campaign. Maybe it sounds too good to be true, in that a charity you’ve never heard of will bung 500 £10’s into the pot so that some of your supporters can give £10 and win the chance to have it matched.

You have two options:

  1. Do nothing! – See what happens, any donations you might get, might get doubled.
  2. Do something! – But what?

This blog post is for the second lot of you, who’d like to know the best way to make the most of the opportunity. (Apologies in advance to those of you who know all this stuff, you can stop reading right now and just get cracking!)

Now for those of you left, the first thing you need to do is get the people who already know what brilliant stuff you do to give £10 during the three weeks starting July 7th.

Asking existing supporters to donate

You may or may not pick up new supporters through The Childhood Trust Summer Smiles campaign, but you definitely stand more chance of getting existing donors to give more. The best way is to let them know about the campaign is via a simple email or even a text message or a phone call. If your supporters come to you, then a few posters and mentioning it face to face will do the trick.

You say "But we can’t ask someone who has just given to us already!" I say, "Oh yes you can. People who give to you are much more likely to give again, the worst that can happen is that they’ll not give – but if you ask them nicely, acknowledging their recent gift and offering them to chance to either donate again or better still, pass the information on to their friends…bullseye!"

What to say? Say what the Summer Smiles is…it’s an online match fund campaign running only via Localgiving for a limited period (July 7-28) where every £10 donation to you (insert link to your actual page here) has the chance to be doubled. Go on to explain what you need the money for and how the children you work with will FEEL as a result of their helping you.

Say it often. A campaign means basically a systemised series of communications towards an end goal, in my book it means that anyway. It does not mean "tried to phone once, left a message" nor does it mean "sent a few emails. Job done!" Bear in mind that only 1/3 of your supporters will even open your email – so the law of averages means that you’ll have to send at least 3 emails to tell all of them about the deal once. Then, how many people do you know, who do exactly what you ask of them, first time? Yeah, right – so get the message across sneakily even, by utilising a range of methods – posters, phone calls, emails sent at different times, even a few letters. Ask your volunteers to help by making calls, or sending emails to their own networks and posting to Facebook or Twitter.

Talking of social media – if it’s your thing, remember to include @Localgiving @ChildhoodTrust and #SummerSmiles (for Twitter) and you may find your message goes even further…

Why we're running the campaign

Is it all worth it? We wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t! The Childhood Trust was established in 2013 and since then has sought out small grassroots organisations who have won the hearts and trust of local vulnerable families. You all do a brilliant job with children. That’s what we care about. You haven’t heard about us because we are young and because we spend all our time fundraising so that you can help more children in need, innocent victims of child poverty across London. We do not lobby, we just proudly support practical, emotional or inspirational projects with impact. It’s a sticky plaster rather than a solution, we know, but someone needs to dish out the plasters while the really clever people sort out the cause and the solution.

Please don’t write to us to fund you directly as we don’t give speculative grants. We only work with platform partners such as Localgiving to enable the best charities to do more of the great work you do and wish to do more of. We hope that by helping you raise more through the fastest growing means of fundraising today – digital – we can help you build a more sustainable future for yourselves and the children you help care for.

All the best of luck! :)

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Lisa Gagliani MBE is Chief Executive of The Childhood Trust – a grant giving charity whose mission is to alleviate child poverty across London.